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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  August 8, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm BST

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millions of british gas customers prepare for another price hike, from october. your standard variable tariff will go up by 3.8%, an extra £44, on dual—fuel bills. it makes me angry that they will take no notice of any watchdog, committees from parliament, the government, and they willjust go ahead with it, knowing it will hurt millions of customers. it's the second price rise from british gas this year. the regulator says if you're unhappy, switch. also on the programme: after boris johnson's comments on muslim face veils, a former attorney general says he'd leave the conservative party, if mrjohnson ever became leader. it's the worst dry spell in decades and now the whole of new south wales in australia is experiencing drought. last post. remembering the battle of amiens, 100 years ago today.
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thousands attend a commemorative event in northern france. it was the battle that changed the tide of world war i and this afternoon the prime minister and prince william joined descendants of those who fought here, to pay tribute. and, three in a row for adam peaty. he strikes gold again, at the european championships. and coming up on bbc news: at the european championships in berlin where britain's tim duckworth leave it —— leave the decathlon with just two events to go. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. british gas is increasing prices for millions of customers, for the second time this year.
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the firm's standard variable tariff will go up by 3.8%, raising the annual bill for a typical dual—fuel customer by £44. the change comes into effect in october, and centrica, which owns british gas, is blaming the price rise on higher costs in the wholesale market. our business correspondent, emma simpson reports. and it's this hot there is no need to worry about heating your home but today a sting in the air for three and a half million british gas customers like robert chapman in lincolnshire. he's on a standard variable tariff and has been for decades. and his bill is going up for a second time this year. we seem to just for a second time this year. we seem tojust get a for a second time this year. we seem to just get a hike year after year, not once a year, twice, three times a year. my biggest gripe is the blase stock answer of saying, yes,
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we are sorry it will hurt people that they will go on with it. the bills started going up in may. there was an increase of 5.5% for gas and electricity customers on standard variable tariffs. the average bill up variable tariffs. the average bill up by variable tariffs. the average bill up by £60. on october one, this as orton kicks in there will be another hike of 4%, add them together and you get an overall increase of £104 in less than six months. british gas certainly isn't the only energy supplier that's been putting up bills. standard variable tariffs are almost always the most expensive deal and millions of households are still on them. british gas says it has to raise prices again, because what it pays for energy has been going up. injanuary, they what it pays for energy has been going up. in january, they could have bought next year's supply of gas for about 1.5 have bought next year's supply of gas forabout1.5 p have bought next year's supply of gas for about 1.5 p per unit. nowadays, it's costing about 2p per
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unit and it's gone up by a third. i can imagine why they feel they need to put the price up. just yesterday the energy regulator ofgem said these rising wholesale costs meant that the cap it sets for customers on prepayment meters would have to go up. meaning price rises for millions of vulnerable customers, too. we're really disappointed that british gas have put another price increase on their standard variable tariffs, affecting millions of consumers. we tariffs, affecting millions of coi'isuitiei's. we are tariffs, affecting millions of consumers. we are worried that they used ofgem's announcement yesterday tojustify their own used ofgem's announcement yesterday to justify their own price used ofgem's announcement yesterday tojustify their own price increase today and what we really wanted to get across to consumers is that if you are on a get across to consumers is that if you are on a standard variable tariff, you could save hundreds of pounds if you just switch. british gas has already lost more than 300,000 customer accounts in the first half of this year. the energy market is changing fast. with a government price gap due by the end of the year. emma simpson, bbc news. the former attorney general, dominic grieve, has increased the pressure on borisjohnson,
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by threatening to leave the conservative party, if the former foreign secretary ever became leader. a number of senior conservatives including theresa may, and ruth davidson, the leader of the conservatives in scotland, have called on mrjohnson to apologise, for a newspaper article, in which he said women who wore the face veil looked like letterboxes and bank robbers. here's our political correspondent, ben wright. boris johnson remains unapologetic for saying muslim women who wear niqabs look like letterboxes and bank robbers. he doesn't want a ban on face veils, but said in his telegraph newspaper column they look ridiculous. while his comments have ignited a political row about their wisdom and motivation, one woman who chooses to wear the niqab said mrjohnson should have been more careful. the problem is the language that he used. i absolutely have no problem with anyone disagreeing with my choice to wear it and criticising it. i don't have a problem with that. but when you demonise and dehumanise a minority
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who happened to be women, muslim women of colour, i have a problem with this. mps are away from westminster, but their criticism of boris johnson has been growing with demands for an apology by the prime minister and other senior tories. what boris might want to do now is consider whether some of the language that he used was inappropriate and, if he chooses to apologise, i have no doubt that will be welcomed. but i don't think we should take from this incident that people are prohibited from discussing this subject. sources close to borisjohnson insist he is simply speaking up for liberal values and he has allies in his party. i think there are a lot of people who are out there to make controversy, truthfully, and to read into things that aren't there. i don't think he was out to make any personal attacks, he was just giving his view. a politician saying, "oh, this is boris". oh well, that's ok then? he can say what he likes. this guy's a buffoon. the phone—ins are hot for this but just 5% of the population are muslim and most muslim women in the uk are not veiled. like most mps, borisjohnson is away
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on holiday and not around to take part in the argument he has started or deal directly with calls to apologise. perhaps that is what he intended. but people here in his uxbridge constituency are certainly talking about the issue and him. ijust think he is saying what a lot of us are actually saying. i think it's intimidating to be completely covered up. i don't think he should upset a large community at all and i think they are quite out of order comments actually. he says he's arguing that they should not have a ban of any sort like they do in denmark. so why does he make the comments? it's not necessary. i think he's right. yeah, so do i. we don't know who's behind them masks. exactly. it could be a man it could be anyone. he says it like it is. i've always liked him. really, so he increases his standing in your eyes by saying things like this? yeah. and that's the suspicion of many tories, that the ever—ambitious borisjohnson is choosing to talk about an issue that resonate well with the grassroots
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of the tory party. but today, a senior conservative said he would quit if mrjohnson got the top job. i've no idea if it enhances his leadership ambition but one thing is quite clear, if he became leader of the party ifor one would not be in it. you would leave? without the slightest doubt. why? because i don't regard him as a fit and proper person to lead a political party. so borisjohnson, the front man of brexit, continues to divide. pressure is piling up on boris johnson over this. the latest intervention came from ruth davidson, the tory leader in scotla nd davidson, the tory leader in scotland who called his comments gratuitously offensive. some of mr johnson's fans in parliament insist these attacks are being led by remain supporting conservatives who fear a leadership challenge. but he seems to be angering the very mps whose support he would need. it's significant that senior ministers, including theresa may, have rounded on him and demanded an apology. mr johnson himself insists he is right
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and there is no sign of an apology at the moment. thank you. the pound fell today, to its lowest level against the dollar in almost a year. investors are concerned that the uk will leave the european union without a deal, in eight months' time. sterling is also down against the euro, the yen and the swiss franc. our economics corrspsondent andy verity is here with me. bad news for people heading abroad, but why exactly the markets spooked? as you mention, there is growing concern that we may leave the european union without any kind of trade deal in place, which might hamper economic growth and mean it's less worthwhile holding pounds. they are selling pounds for that reason but also, the dollar is strengthening. the trade war between the us and china, the thinking is that if that carries on, the us may well win out and therefore people will want to be dollars. look at what happened to the pound against the dollar over this last year. it hit a peak back in april of $1.43
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and now it's down at $1.28. you've lost about 10%. if you are thinking of travelling soon, the best rate you could get for your travel money, just $1.28 and if you are buying euros comments about 1.10 euros. you might wish you had taken your summer holidays in april but you can at least console yourself that at least the pound was even lower against the dollar in the wake of the referendum. andy, many thanks. a man has appeared in court via videolink, charged with murdering the midwife samantha eastwood in staffordshire. micheal stirling, who's the brother—in—law of her former finance, spoke only to confirm his name. he'll return to court for a plea hearing in october. the body of ms eastwood was found eight days after she went missing. the entire state of new south wales, which produces about a quarter of australia's agricultural output, is experiencing drought, and it's one of the worst dry spells in parts of the country.
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in the last month, officials say less than ten millimetres of rain have been recorded in some areas. phil mercer reports now from sydney. australia is a land well used to nature's extremes. it's the world's driest inhabited continent, but the resilience of its farming communities is being severely tested. official figures show that australia's most populous state, new south wales, is now entirely in drought. two years ago, there were floods on gary sunderland's farm near the town of condobolin. how quickly things can change. now, it's just the opposite story. the land has gone dry. no feed. stock are dying. some farmers have been carting up to 100,000 litres of water to their livestock since january. this video, taken earlier this year, shows cattle swarming around a water tanker. farmers in the small towns across new south wales are helping each other out with donations.
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many here say it's the worst they've ever known. all the climate gurus, who know all about the weather still don't know when it's going to break. they've got no idea. we just... we're blind. you know, we'vejust got to plan and hope and pray that it rains. government aid will ease the financial burdens and the prime minister is promising more help. i do understand these water challenges. clearly, we will work with state and local governments to ensure that water is provided. the fear is that a dry spring will be followed by another hot and punishing summer for australia's farmers. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. self—testing hiv kits are to become available on the high street for the first time. superdrug says it will sell them with the kits providing a result in 15 minutes, forjust under £35. one leading hiv charity says it
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welcomes better access to testing, but is worried about the cost. our correspondent sarah campbell reports. the test involves a simple pinprick. antibodies in the blood are measured and after a few minutes the results. the manufacturers claim it's 99.7% accurate. alex sparrowhawk has been living with hiv for nine years. his diagnosis took far longer. when i was diagnosed, i had to wait a week for my result. which actually caused a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress. when i got the phone call, i knew it was going to be bad news. i worked full time and actually being able to come into a shop on the high street and doa come into a shop on the high street and do a test in my own time would be great. hiv diagnoses are down according to the latest figures from public health england. with, for the first time from a decline in the
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number of gay and bisexual men being diagnosed. but it is estimated that more than 10,000 people in england are unaware they have the condition. following a change in the law, hiv self test kits have been available online for several years. it's only 110w online for several years. it's only now that you can go down to a major high—street chemist and buy one.|j think high—street chemist and buy one.” think it's a brilliant idea. i think eve ryo ne think it's a brilliant idea. i think everyone should be tested, everyone should be aware. it's no different to having a pregnancy test.” should be aware. it's no different to having a pregnancy test. i think it's a fantastic idea. it takes away the stigma and makes it easier for everyone to access. it's great, actually. at this sexual health clinic, where hiv tests are free of charge, the off the shelf kits have been welcomed. but only as a first stage in the diagnosis process. these are screening tests and we will always need to confirm them. because there is a small number of situations where you may have a false positive test. it is
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imperative to be certain that the testis imperative to be certain that the test is truly positive. with the correct treatment, people diagnosed as hiv—positive can have a normal life expectancy. early diagnosis is key and is why facilitating testing is seen as so important. sarah campbell, bbc news. our top story this evening. millions of british gas customers, prepare for a price hike from october — the second in a year. and fresh from her triumph yesterday, we speak to the future of british athletics — dina asher smith. coming up on sportsday on bbc news: we'll be at the european championships berlin, where britain's tim duckworth leads the decathlon, with just two events left to go. 3,000 people have attended commemorations at amiens cathedral in north—eastern france, marking the centenary of the battle that turned the tide
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of the first world war. the battle of amiens lasted just four days, but it was one of the most successful for the allies, of the whole conflict. theresa may and the duke of cambridge were among those who paid tribute to the fallen and hundreds of descendants of the troops that took, part were also there. let's join sophie raworth, who's in amiens for us this evening. the battle of amiens was launched in the fields around this city atjust after 4a m the fields around this city atjust after 4am one hundred years ago. by that evening the allies had pushed into german territory and taken thousands of prisoners. after years of stalemate, it was their most successful single day on the western front. today's event here in amiens retold the story of a battle that many feel has not been told enough. robert hall was there. this is a landscape where the course
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of a terrible conflict was changed. in amiens cathedral, music and personal accounts combined to tell that story. the attack at amiens was a total surprise — at dawn a huge allied bombardment systemically destroyed german guns. the smoke barely clearing, before 500 tanks led men from six countries in an advance which took some of them eight miles into enemy territory. amiens was symbolic of the entente cordiale... a battle whose significance was underlined by the duke of cambridge. today, we return to learn more about the experience of those involved during the historic summer of 1918. to honour the fallen of all nations. the amiens attacks were planned to the last detail as the clock ticked down, commanders penned theirfinal messages. every man will carry on to
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the utmost of his powers until his goal is won. to those who fall, i say will you not die, but step into immortality. by lunchtime on the first day, men could hardly believe the contrast with the chaos of previous offensives. the americans swept everything before them and the german resistance collapsed. the sun broke through, we began to see the countryside that we hadn't seen for quite some time. it was unscarred. all sorts of cultivated land. we began to feel, byjove, the war's coming to an end. at least 30,000 german lives were lost, thousands more surrendered, convincing commanders that that the time had come to consider a ceasefire. age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. at the going down of the sun
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and in the morning, we will remember them. today's ceremony remembered the fallen, but also served to highlight a crucial moment in a long and costly conflict. robert hall, bbc news, amiens. among the invited guests were 600 descendants of those who fought at the battle of amiens. they came from as far afield as australia, canada and of course britain. i spoke to one man, alasdair mackie? from surrey — whose great uncle william george robertson fought and died here in 1918.? i've only received this recently and that's my great uncle on the right there. wow, he really does look like you, doesn't he? something about... he really is. his name is william george robertson. he was born in leslie in fife. the war started and he signed up straightaway.
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he enlisted in the medical services. then he was moved to the artillery in december 1917. his unit, the 2nd brigade, were involved in the battle of amiens. so do you know what he was doing today, 8th august, 100 years ago? he started the day behind the lines a bit. i picture this being an 18 inch gun, a team of men serving their gun and my great uncle there. the artillery units were almost like lea pfrogging each other, just to keep up with the advancing troops. because, that was the thing, they took so much ground so quickly. he survived the battle of amiens. it was a short battle. but it wasn't very long before he died. he was in a bivouac, 20th august, hadn't got up yet, and he was killed instantly by a german shell coming in. of course, the last letter he wrote home on 11th august, so after the main battle had started and just over a week before he was killed.
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"guess i'll drop a note now to let you know that i'm jake—alloo and feeling good." he then goes on to say he was awful busy for a few days before the show started. "but i'll need to wait to tell you when i next get back." and it was written virtually 100 years ago today? indeed, in the heat of battle. what is it about your great uncle that makes you so interested in his life and what happened to him and makes you want to be here today? i come from a very small family, so there aren't many of us to think about him. there is only really me that is left that has not a memory of him, because i obviously didn't know him, but just that connection with him and that time, because when i started doing the research, i was actually younger than he was when he was killed and now i'm obviously much older than he was and that connection's just always there. it's very personal. alasdair mackie. he's just one of the many descendants who was here today clutching photographs and medals
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of their relatives — many of whom gave their lives at amiens. and, crucially, this battle marked the beginning of the end for the german army. the allies were finally on? the road to armistice and eventually peace. from amiens cathedral, back to you, clive. thanks. great britain's adam peaty has won his third gold medal at the european championships in glasgow, with victory in the men's 50 metres breaststroke. he'll go for a fourth gold in the mixed relay on thursday. here's our sports correspondent, natalie pirks. it's a name now synonymous with success. but with success comes expectation. it only serves to spur him on, as the man with the lion tattoo roared to gold, his race was brilliance. absolutely masterful. no
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one anywhere near him. it was adam peaty‘s third gold in glasgow and the championship record, but still he wants more. i'm going to enjoy all this after i finish. but i still have a job to do tomorrow. my emotional level must come down to neutral. it is good. we are used to peaty winning. next is siobhan o'connor against a familiar foe. a silver in the olympics but shi s put siobhan on the match. but today she finished a disappointing fourth. there was better news in the diving. grace reid and her partner taking silver. it was only the second time they competed together. it is the last day in the swimming pool tomorrow. one last chance for a show
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of strength. and staying with the championships, dina asher—smith today spoke of herjoy at taking the 100 metres title — with a new british record time — in berlin last night. she said she couldn't believe it, and praised the support of her family, as our correspondent, ade adedoyin, reports from germany. surely the happiest woman in british athletics. a brilliant smile after a brilliant performance. 24 hours on, she's still struggling to come to terms with it all. yeah, 10.85 then, i honestly can't believe it. i can't believe i ran that kind of time! you know what i'm saying? it was a lifetime ago when a british woman last won the 100 metres gold at the european championships. dorothyjust beat the german girl. the year 1962. england hadn't even won the football world cup. it's taken a special talent to end british athletics, 50—year wait.
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but the journey‘s not always been easy. knowing you've got something and you and your team, you know it, but sometimes the numbers don't reflect it, it can be quite hard to have the same mind set of, you know, i can do this, i can run the best in the world, when maybe the results aren't reflecting it. but, yeah, happy —10.85 does that! at 17 she became the youngest female world championship relay medallist. a world junior champion a year later. she's also the british record holder. all this while studying for a history degree at king's college london and hampered by an injury, including a broken foot, which left her on crutches for most of last year. to have like a stable and continuously supportive environment around you does make a difference, because if that is a steal, you have more energy to put into exploring other talents. so whether that is uni, or track and field. still only 22, she has already shown the qualities to make the world take notice. she's a real performer and a gutsy performer, you can throw the world's best at dina and she will be happy to take them on.
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asher—smith is favourite to defend her 200—metre title later this week and with a relay to come as well, there's every chance she will light up the stadium once again. the weather has broken a bit. a bit cooler. yes, yesterday 33, today mid 20s. there was still some sunshine, but some showers as well. you can see the showers in the scottish highlands. you can see the showers have been widespread, drifting eastwards, but with some sunshine in between. there is a more generally widespread area of cloud now drifting across the channel islands and we expect that to move into southern and south eastern parts of the uk as we go through the night. more cloud turning up here. some rain by the end of the night. elsewhere, clear spells and the
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showers fading. to the north—west a cool and fresh night. well down into single figures. as we go through tomorrow, for most, it is another day of sunshine and showers. not many showers in the south—west and northern england. but for scotland a few showers with some heavy and thundery. in the south west, a bit of uncertainty, but we could see some heavy rain in kent and east anglia. we are not sure how far west it will get. but some of the rain will be heavy. so there could be a 5°99y will be heavy. so there could be a soggy afternoon rush hour tomorrow in the extreme south eastern part of england. very unpleasant weather in the near continent. into friday, we push that away towards scandinavia. and high pressure tries to reassert itself across our shores. but the higha itself across our shores. but the high a long way away and not able to kill off the showers. there will still be some down pours around on friday. quite hit and miss. but some heavy and thundery. the greatest
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chance of staying dry down to the south. but the temperatures 17 to 22 degrees. and then what about the weekend? the chance for some wet and windy weather, particularly in the north and west. further south—east, largely dry and warm at times, but as warm as it has been thank you. that's it. so goodbye from the bbc news at six. now on bbc one, let's join our news teams where you are. hello this is bbc news. the headlines: more than three million british gas customers are facing a rise in prices for the second time this year.
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boris johnson faces growing criticism of his comments about muslim women who wear the burqa. the duke of cambridge and the prime minister have attended commemorations in northern france to mark the centenary of the battle of amiens — the beginning of the end of world war one. the value of sterling has fallen below $1.29 for the first time in nearly a year because of concerns about brexit. in a moment it will be time for sportsday, but first a look at what else is coming up this evening on bbc news. we'll get more reaction to the row over borisjohnson's article about muslim women and the veil, as another senior conservatives calls his comments ‘gratuitously offensive'. 100 years on, we'll be remembering the battle of amiens,
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